Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Snow goggles

yukłuktaak “snow glasses, snow goggles”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

Whenever you go out hunting or when the sun is shining, you’d take those along…Especially in the long daylight hours in the spring they’d wear those.

—Jacob Ahwinona, 2001

As the amount of sunshine increased in late winter and spring, people wore goggles to protect themselves from snow-blindness. This painful and debilitating condition occurs when strong ultraviolet light reflects from snow and ice, burning the retinas. Goggles have narrow slits that reduce the amount of light that can reach the wearer’s eyes; on this pair, there is also a carved visor for shade.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Seward Peninsula, Alaska
Village: Cape Darby
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 15.4cm
Accession Date: 1880
Source: Edward W. Nelson (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E044256